11 Things To Consider Before Getting A Brittany Dog
The Brittany is a medium-sized and highly energetic sporting dog developed for bird hunting. It is highly intelligent and needs plenty of physical activity and mental stimulation.
If you are interested in this breed and want to parent one, read this article, as we will explain the top 11 things to consider before getting a Brittany.
The Brittany is a medium-sized dog with high energy levels. Therefore, despite the size, it requires space where it can be active and burn pent-up energy.
The dog is relatively adaptable and can live in small apartments. However, it does best in large houses with safely fenced yards.
If you live in an apartment and plan on getting a Brittany, ensure you have time to take it out for walks, outdoor time, and entertainment several times per day.
Also, keep in mind that the breed is prone to overheating in hot weather due to the double-layered and dense coat. This means you will have to plan outdoor activities during the colder parts of the day.
Brittanys have dense, short double-coat that does not require much grooming. However, it sheds a lot during shedding seasons and needs bruising to control loose hairs.
Under normal circumstances, brush your Brittany once a week. If it is shedding season, you should brush daily.
In addition to brushing, the grooming session also includes bathing, which is done on an as-needed basis - when your Brittany gets dirty or smelly.
Other grooming aspects include teeth brushing (ideally on a daily basis), ear cleaning (weekly), and nail trimming (when necessary). Occasionally, you can take your Brittany to a professional groomer.
In general, training a Brittany is relatively easy. The breed is very intelligent and likes to please the owner. However, it is still essential that you are patient, consistent, and using the right training approach.
What is the best training method?
Positive reinforcement is the best training approach for Brittanys. Members of the breed respond extremely well to praises, treats, and rewards.
The two main aspects of training are basic obedience and socialization. Later on, you can also try advanced training, such as:
If you encounter any training difficulties, do not hesitate to seek professional help - a licensed dog trainer.
As already mentioned, socialization is one of the two main aspects of training a Brittany. While naturally social and friendly, this breed still needs socialization to grow into a well-rounded adult.
It is best to start socializing your Brittany from an early age. Expose it to new environments, people, situations, and pets as often as possible.
Lack of early and proper socialization results in behavioral problems. Plus, if not socialized, Brittanys cannot live in multi-pet households due to their prey drive.
If you do not have time or skills for socialization, enroll your Brittany in puppy socialization classes. They usually accept puppies between 8 and 16 weeks of age and are very helpful.
The three main attributes explaining the Brittany's temperament are friendly, energetic, and affectionate.
Brittanys are energetic dogs and enjoy participating in outdoor family activities. However, they are also affectionate and gentle, meaning they are likely to curl up by your side and cuddle while at home.
Members of this breed can also be very protective of their human families but never aggressive. However, if not properly socialized, they can be wary of strangers.
Overall, this breed’s temperament is suitable for people of all ages and different living situations.
Brittanys are long-lived, with an average lifespan of 12 to 15 years. However, they are prone to certain medical conditions, such as:
- Hip Dysplasia: Genetic condition in which the hip joint (ball and socket) do not develop properly, causing pain and mobility problems.
- Ear Infections: The breed has long and hairy ears that trap moisture and debris, making them susceptible to ear infections.
- Allergies: Both environmental and food allergies are relatively common in this breed.
- Epilepsy: A neurological condition that manifests with seizures and often has an unknown origin.
- Hypothyroidism: Caused by an underactive thyroid gland that does not produce adequate amounts of thyroid hormones.
- Cancer: All cancer types are possible in the breed, but hemangiosarcoma and lymphoma are the most common.
Another thing to consider is the Brittany breed itself. Here is a closer look at the most important breed characteristics:
- Energy Levels: Brittanys have a go-all-day stamina. They need plenty of physical activity and mental stimulation to prevent boredom.
- Intelligence: The breed is intelligent, which makes training easy, but also allows them to be independent thinkers.
- Hunting Skills: True to their hunting heritage, members of this breed have a very pronounced prey drive and like chasing smaller pets.
- Affectionate Nature: The Brittany is a sweet and affectionate companion. It thrives on participating in family activities.
- Kid & Pet-Friendliness: This breed is excellent with children. However, it requires socialization to learn to get along with other dogs and small pets.
Originally bred to be hunting dogs, Brittanys are still true to their ancestral spirit. In other words, they need to be physically active to stay happy and healthy.
If interested in this breed, ensure you can spare at least an hour a day for exercises and outdoor activities such as playing, running, hiking, or simply walking.
When outside, it is vital that you keep your Brittany on a leash, especially when in non-fenced areas. Because of the strong prey drive, this dog is an escape risk.
In addition to physical activity, Brittanys need to be mentally stimulated through puzzles and interactive games.
Being a devoted Brittany owner is a rewarding yet time-consuming task. Here is a list of the things that will require a significant amount of your free time:
- Exercise: As a highly energetic dog, your Brittany requires at least an hour of physical activity every day.
- Training: Brittanys are relatively easy to train, but still, training is a gradual process and takes time.
- Socialization: Because of the strong prey drive, Brittanys need early and extensive socialization to learn to cohabitate with other pets.
- Grooming: While not high maintenance, your Brittany will require regular brushing, especially during shedding seasons.
- Health Care: Like all dogs, a Brittany would require regular veterinary care to stay in optimal health.
Compatibility With Other Pets
If well-socialized starting from an early age, Brittanys can learn to get along with other dogs and pets.
Is socialization vital?
Yes, when it comes to this breed, socialization is essential. This is because the Brittany has a very strong prey drive and is naturally inclined to chase smaller pets.
In practical terms, if considering a Brittany while already having a pet, think of whether you will have time for proper socialization, as this is the key to safe cohabitation.
If you can invest time and effort, then it is okay, but if not, you should consider getting another breed.
When getting a Brittany, do your homework and find a reputable breeder. In the long run, this means a healthier pup.
Trustworthy Brittany breeders test both parents for genetic conditions common in the breed to ensure healthy litters. They have health certificates as proof of those tests.
Additionally, ethical breeders are open about their breeding practices and allow you to meet the parents and the puppies once it is safe for visits.
If you are unsure which dog breeder is reputable, rely on references, either from other Brittany owners or licensed veterinarians in your area.
Before you decide to get a Brittany, consider the breed’s requirements in terms of exercise, grooming, and training. Being a responsible Brittany dog parent is a full-time job and a commitment.
The good news is that with proper care and dedication, Brittany is an excellent canine companion and will definitely make your life richer.